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Repetitive stress injuries are common among workers who perform tasks requiring repetitive motions, such as bending, lifting, typing, standing, and even sitting for extended time periods. A repetitive stress injury, also known as repetitive strain injury, or RSI, can cause pain, swelling, inflammation of joints and tendons, and limit motion to the point where a worker may not be able to perform the tasks required of their job. When this happens, Workers’ Compensation benefits can provide compensation for a portion of lost wages, medical bills, and therapies.
The Wilmington Workers’ Compensation lawyers at the law firm of Rhoades and Morrow advocate for workers with repetitive stress injuries and are committed to helping them claim the maximum Workers’ Compensation benefits available. The financial impact of an RSI can be significant, causing the employee and their family to suffer financial hardship. Our work injury lawyers help RSI victims to focus on their recovery without the added stress of financial worries.
Unlike injuries that happen because of a single event, such as a workplace accident, repetitive stress injuries result from a constant use of specific muscles, tendons, and joints over a long period of time. The effects on the musculoskeletal system of the body include inflammation of muscles, tendons, and ligaments, and a breakdown of bones in joints such as those in the hands, feet, knees, neck, back, and shoulders. The pain from this type of injury can significantly reduce mobility and cause a temporary and sometimes permanent disability.
Common ailments resulting from repetitive stress include tendonitis, bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, Raynaud’s disease, Fibromyalgia, herniated discs, nerve damage, and rotator cuff injuries. Many of these conditions require surgical intervention, extended physical rehabilitation, and prescription medications. Doctor and medical bills can be costly, and victims usually require long periods of absence from work to fully recover.
Workers in all types of jobs that require repetitive movements run the risk of a repetitive stress injury. Some professions have a higher risk of RSI than others. These include food processors, cake decorators, butchers, and bakers. Tailors and seamstresses or cloth cutters often suffer RSI in their hands, shoulders, and knees. Transportation workers that drive trucks or commercial vehicles for a living, and retail workers that stock shelves or stand at a checkout register for long shifts can experience shoulder, wrist, feet, or hand injuries.
Health care workers such as laboratory employees, nurses, medical assistants, and chiropractors suffer repetitive stress injuries from continuous lifting, stretching, standing, and bending. Postal workers, hair stylists, maintenance workers, and construction workers often suffer from shoulder, neck, back, feet, leg, and hand injuries related to standing and lifting for extended time periods. Operating vibrating machinery can also lead to injury in the hands, arms, shoulders, and legs. Professional entertainers such as dancers and musicians can suffer repetitive stress injury from constant use of the muscles in their legs, feet, arms, and fingers.
Office workers suffer many ailments due to repetitive tasks. Typing, working a mouse, using a touch screen computer, and sitting at a desk for long periods of time can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome, lower back problems, and shoulder injuries. Computer vision syndrome can occur when workers need to spend long hours staring at a computer monitor.
Employers are legally obligated to provide a safe workplace for their employees that is free from unnecessary hazards. Employees with known disabilities are also entitled to reasonable accommodations that allow them to perform the tasks of their job. Ergonomic office chairs, adjustable computer screens, and keyboards with padding to relieve wrist strain can help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome or back and shoulder strain. Cushioned floor mats under the feet of workers required to stand for long periods of time can limit the stress on the feet, legs, and back.
Employers should also allow ample break time for workers to relieve the stress that can occur from repetitive tasks. Stretching, walking, and sitting down or standing up can help rest body parts that are pushed to their limits. Varying work tasks within the work day can also give rest to overstressed muscles and tendons. Shift workers need to be provided with ample time to rest between work hours to give the body time to heal.
If you are suffering with a repetitive stress injury related to you job, the Milford Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help you claim the benefits to which you are entitled. Call us at 302-422-6705, or contact us online to schedule a consultation today.
Our offices are located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware and serve clients throughout the state, including Hockessin, Newark, Glasgow, Middletown, Smyrna, Dover, Lewes, Georgetown, and Seaford, as well as those in New Castle County, Kent County, and Sussex County.